Sunday, January 9, 2011

Migrating Geese

The honking of geese can stir a variety of feelings, depending on the time of year. For me, August honking signals back to school while late winter honking: spring! Both are harbingers of new beginnings.

In the predawn moments when I’m out walking the dog and I hear the ruckus of geese flying overhead, I’m always compelled to look up, fascinated by the v-formation. As far as I know, geese are the only birds that fly in that configuration. Sometimes they are in perfect synchronization and the honking seems to be a supportive, “Let’s keep going, guys.” Other times there is chaos in the skies with the formation looking more like a w and the honking more argumentative. I imagine they’re like my students, fighting to be the leader.

The times that I feel the saddest while observing the semi-annual migrations are when there is one solitary goose, honking and flying solo. It makes me wonder…did they lose their mate? Geese mate for life and the thought of their loss creates a lump in my throat.

It’s incredible how far these birds fly every season, inspiring, even. Just goes to show how far we can get in life with a little help from our friends.

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